“Darkness dwells within even the best of us. In the worst of us, darkness not only dwells but reigns.” – Dean Koontz
One could substitute the word “evil” in Koontz’s quote and it would ring as true. We certainly see and hear about enough things in the daily news to acknowledge that there exist those in who darkness or evil reigns. It is easy sometimes to be draw towards that dark side and to have dark thoughts or reactions in response to that news. Sometimes we succumb to the darkness and it reigns in our lives. Better, I think to heed the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. when dealing with darkness –
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
But, where do you turn to find the light and the love to combat darkness and hate? Since it is Sunday, I’ve got a suggestion – try going to church. If there is any place on earth that darkness cannot abide it is in the sanctuary of a church. There, whether in the midst of a crowd or sitting (or kneeling) by yourself, you come face to face with the one Light that darkness cannot overcome. You come in contact with the one Love that surpasses all understanding and forgives all sins. Hate cannot stand against the force of that Love.
When the famous bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he replied – “Because that’s where the money is.” One might use the same logic to answer the question why go to church, “Because that’s where God is.” Sure, it’s possible to find God outside of the church, but it makes the job all that much easier if you go to His house. Darkness lives under rocks and in deep recesses and avoids the light. Faith comes from above and is the LIGHT. Let faith in and the darkness and hate will no longer reign in your life’s journey. Church is a good place to look for the light.
“Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey.” – from Lumen Fidei – The first encyclical of Pope Francis.
So, faith does not vanquish all darkness from our lives, but it does allow us to proceed without tripping over things in the darkness. It does allow us to see a way out of the darkness and to see a future that, for some, the darkness of depression tries to rob. Yes, we may still experience hurtful things and pain and fear and losses – things that beckon us into the darkness – but, if we keep our faith burning we will always be able to see the way back to the light. Some darkness may remain in your life, but it will not reign in your life. Let the Light in and give Him the reins of your life.
Have a great Sunday. Maybe I’ll see you in church or maybe I’ll just notice your light shining off in the distance.